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caponata question

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm very excited to be posting here - first time! I'm hosting a cocktailparty for 20 at our place this Friday. One dish I'm making is caponata served in radicchio cups(Michael Chiarelli's (sp?)recipe - Easy Entertaining on Food Network) I'm working all this week, so will be preparing as much as I can in
advance. How far ahead dare I make caponata? Would 3-4 days be OK?
Here's the ingredient list for my caponata recipe:
1/3 cup EVOO
2 tbsp minced garlic
l 1l2 cups diced onion
salt and fresh ground pepper
2 anchovy fillets
2 tsp chili flakes
2 tbsp caper juice
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 eggplant,peeled and diced
1 tbsp chopped capers
1/2 cup chopped rosated red peppers
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
post #2 of 5
Hello Steph and welcome to Chef Talk. I hope you enjoy the board and the community of food-lovers.

I'll move your post to the recipes forum where it'll get the attention it deserves. I would recommend posting the recipe for the caponata so we know what the ingredients are and can advise you correctly.

Moderator Emerita, Welcome Forum
***It is better to ask forgiveness than beg permission.***
Moderator Emerita, Welcome Forum
***It is better to ask forgiveness than beg permission.***
post #3 of 5
I wouldn't prepare this in advance of the event. It could be partially prepared by dicing and slicing ahead of time and refrigerating the prepared ingredients (except the eggplant) but I wouldn't go beyond that point. If Michael Chiarello (one of my own culinary heroes - I'd be happy to live in the barn at his place) didn't comment on the idea of preparing it ahead of time, which he typically will if he believes it's a sensible option, then I suspect he too would prefer to see it prepared fresh just before serving.
My failures in life are few. The most blatant of these is my attempts at retirement. I've studied the process carefully but cannot begin to understand how it is done.
My failures in life are few. The most blatant of these is my attempts at retirement. I've studied the process carefully but cannot begin to understand how it is done.
post #4 of 5


Steph: I tried to post this and don't know what happened so here goes again, lol. I'm sicilian and this is the recipe we always used, except I've added one or two things. I think you'll be happy with this recipe, everyone loves it and is my most requested recipe (I'm pasting one I just sent my girlfriend). Componata must be put in a glass jar and the flavors incorporate the longer it is in the refrigerator (it will last about 2 weeks). I would make it several days ahead, it will taste better. Let me know if you make this and how you liked it. I also tried something alittle different, I used that cheese Texas Toast (I think it was either the 3 or 6 blend)..you can find it at the supermarket and it really had a good flavor with the Componata.

CAMPONATINA (OR CAMPONATA) Depends if your Northern or Southern Italian, lol.
2 firm eggplants or more if you like
salt olive oil
2 medium yellow onions minced
about 4 ribs of celery
3 or 4 cups of Italian plum tomatoes, chopped coarsely (must be fresh, not canned)
1 teas. fresh sweet basil
1 teas. salt
1/8 teas. coarse black pepper
1/4 cup capers
1/2 cup greeen olives
1/2 cup black olives
1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
3 or 4 teas. red wine vinegar
4 or 5 fresh garlic, coarsely chopped (not that jarred minced stuff either or powder)
1 can Rotelle tomatoes (I've added this for just alittle kick)
1 can diced tomatoes with garlic and basil (another addition of mine)
Zucchini (about 2 or 3) chopped coarsely
Place eggplant in colander, sprinkle with salt (I use sea salt for this) and place an inverted
plate over eggplant. Place a heavy object to weight down, thus squeezing water out. Let this stand about an hour. Rinse thoroughly, drain and dry with paper towel.
Next, put olive oil in skillet. Add garlic, onions, celery, basil, mushrooms, pepper, salt
Take a large frying pan and put about 1/2 cup water and put in the whole tomatoes. I roll them around until the skin is loose and then peel. Save the tomato water and set aside.
Heat skillet with some olive oil. Add garlic, onions, celery, salt, pepper, basil and mushrooms. Saute' slightly. Next, add coarsely chopped eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes and saute' with wooden spoon. As all this cooks down, then add the Rotelle and garlic-basil canned tomatoes. As the mixture starts to concentrate, slowly add the tomato water if it gets too dry. I cook this mixture about 30-45 minutes. During this cooking, I add the capers and olives. About the last 5 minutes, add the vinegar.
Refrigerate in glass container. Not plastic or metal. This will keep in the refrigerator about 2 weeks. It is better the once the flavors incorporate.
If you don't like olives or mushrooms, you can omit them. Caponata means Compost (meaning the end of the season garden) so you can add anything you really like or dislike.
We usually serve this just with Italian or French bread, but you can use anything you like. As you've figured out, it's great on pasta too. Really just a great dish to use your imagination with. This makes about 8 or 9 cups and contains about 60 calories per 1/2 cup. All the ingredients are approximate but it's pretty easy to see how much once you make it. Just remember not to chop vegetables too finely otherwise they will be too much like a sauce.
post #5 of 5

P.S. Componata

I'm sure my Nana is turning in her grave knowing I am serving this on Cheese Texas Toast and not on homemade Italian Bread, but I just didn't have time to make bread and grabbed this from the supermarket and really liked the flavors, lol. But, you can make my Nana happy and make homemade Italian bread if you want. lol
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